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Author Topic: Integrators selling your product?  (Read 1616 times)

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Integrators selling your product?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2018, 11:21:38 am »

But it does happen...?

I Don't Even..

I would prefer 'Nathan' thanks.

Perhaps I'm a glutton for punishment?

But in all honesty, I set the price for my work (XLR termination) and I got paid for it. I was/am happy with that part.

I just know that y'all have more experience dealing with these kinds of situations (hap-hazard tuning & stolen ideas), so I know I can grow and learn from these situations.

The person on FB... I have no idea. They say they were an integrator and now are a tech director. Why they have the idea that an integrator/retailer should give them their COGS I have no idea. That's an outlier. I wouldn't deal with them as far as I can throw them.

You might have to lay with a few dogs to get the beauty queen.

Here is the issue, there are more than likely numerous HoW that have tech staff that respect their vendor relationships, treat them well and make strategic plans based on goals instead of setting a budget then backing into it.

The problem is those folks more than likely have entrenched relationships with quality integrators.  With all due respect you are young and relatively inexperienced.  What compelling value do you bring to the table?

You have to bring on a few young and inexperienced customers and nurse them along hoping the seeds you plant help them grow.

WRT to tuning and other "shit shows" we see them all the time.  My name is not attached to it so why would I care? 

I apply a filter:

1 - Does it need to be said
2 - Does it need to be said now
3 - Does it need to be said by me

 Once I pass those filter my "first thought wrong" and general emotional state is where it needs to be.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
River Delta Audio is now:

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
www.ghostav.rocks

Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Integrators selling your product?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2018, 12:45:17 pm »

Not audio experience-but as an electrical contractor I have had the same thing happen.  A homeowner wanted a panel added, I made a suggestion that was a huge cost savings (mainly in labor)-never got the job, but a few months later drove by the house and saw that he did exactly what I planned.  It can be frustrating-but it's not just churches-its people.

I am in a unique situation now-I transistioned to maintenance manager at a facility I did a lot of work for as a contractor.  I now hire electrical contactors-and because I was (and still am technically) an electrical contractor I know what their material costs are.  I have, and make it a point, to never question their markup-I have a responsibility to my employer to be a good steward of his money, but putting a contractor out of business serves no useful purpose.  Competitive bids sure-but also a design fee is offered if I expect a contractor to design, then bid.  The customer that wants to nickel and dime is not worth pursuing, IMO. (And biblically is on pretty soft ground as well!!)

One of the hardest lessons I had to learn when I started contracting was that there were certain customers I did not want.  I wanted everyone to want my services and felt bad when they didn't want to hire me.  Then I was told by another contractor "There is always someone that can do a job better than you, or for less money than you, or faster than you-you just have to be you and find the customers whose needs and wants match the product that you can deliver."  Maybe I can do it better-but this guy wants cheaper (often I wouoldn't do it cheaper because of safety).  Maybe they need it today, and don't care about price-but I have other commitments.  In your case, you have skills, but maybe they are not interested in paying for those skills.  Whatever the case may be.  As a sole propietor, it can be hard to separate personal approval from business-but you have to learn to mentally do so.
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Steve Swaffer

Benjamin Gingerich

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Re: Integrators selling your product?
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2018, 10:06:04 pm »

You know...I could throw some scripture on them (literally) :P

This is gold, great idea for good clean salesmanship. Thanks!

---

So this just happened. Is this a real thing?

I cross posted this topic to the CSMT Professionals group (where integrators lurk) apparently one of the members asks for the cost of the equipment (not the price=their quote), but the integrators cost of parts. They say they want to know the markup and wouldn't buy from a company without knowing the cost and price and markup.

I was/am incredulous and left a rather pointed reply.
Why would anyone want/need that info?
What retailer would give their customer that info?
/confused  ??? ???

Person:
Me:
Person:
Other person:
Person:
Me:
Person:

Nathan
This is a new trend because of the MIX-U podcast guys did a show on "how to save your church money" that said you should alway's know what the dealer is paying for the items and they said they shouldn't pay over 10% for the equipment, and all 3 guys agreed.
The problem with this is those guys are doing multiple $500k+ projects every year, which at that point you have some negotiating power with a dealer. In the same podcast, they also said a dealer should fly them to Info-Comm or NAMM to get hands-on equipment without clearly specifying that can't be done for a 20k job.
We have done 3 bids since that podcast came out that requested we give them our price, to which we kindly say no our contract's do not allow us to do that. Two of them were ok with that answer and we supplied bids, one said not to give them a bid.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 10:08:58 pm by Benjamin Gingerich »
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Benjamin Gingerich
Project Manager - LifeSound Av - Macon, Georgia
Air Force Reserves- Electrical Power Production
AA Electrical & Mechanical Engineering

Nathan Riddle

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Re: Integrators selling your product?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2018, 12:26:36 pm »

Nathan
This is a new trend because of the MIX-U podcast guys did a show on "how to save your church money" that said you should alway's know what the dealer is paying for the items and they said they shouldn't pay over 10% for the equipment, and all 3 guys agreed.
The problem with this is those guys are doing multiple $500k+ projects every year, which at that point you have some negotiating power with a dealer. In the same podcast, they also said a dealer should fly them to Info-Comm or NAMM to get hands-on equipment without clearly specifying that can't be done for a 20k job.
We have done 3 bids since that podcast came out that requested we give them our price, to which we kindly say no our contract's do not allow us to do that. Two of them were ok with that answer and we supplied bids, one said not to give them a bid.


After having attended MxU and wasn't impressed, this makes me sad.

I think I know the podcast/breakout from FILO that you are talking about. I need to listen to it. Thanks for the reference, I definitely didn't put two and two together.

To be fair to the client, I'm fine with them asking hard questions. I think it comes from an era of integrators 'screwing' over churches and those good-hearted MxU people are trying to equip the churches with the tools needed to get better deals and accomplish more within their budget. I'm fine with all that. I encourage the Dave Ramsey method.
What I'm not okay with is such a bad attitude about it when we give every inch we can but can't give the last inch they want and they feel entitled to this 'new way of doing business'. (I hope that's communicating what I'm trying to say).
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Integrators selling your product?
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2018, 10:39:10 pm »

Simply put Nathan, whether intentional or more likely just not thoughtful, this church has no respect for your time.

I showed up last week to fix their improv lighting system. The emotions still welled up, grr annoyed I'm not over this yet. The pastor is a friend I might just talk to him. But then again he might have a big gig for me to run so there's that. Anyways, that's not why I'm reviving/updating this thread.

I have had this happen a lot over the years. A church ask for a bunch of quotes and then ends up buying online and DIY’ing. They could at least offer a design fee IMO. But, no hard feelings. I just started charging a consultation fee to come out and do a real basic design and narrative suggestion. Then I accompany that consultation report with a quote. Then, if they choose to shop it fine, if they choose to DIY, whatever, etc. I don’t charge a ton, but a couple hundred bucks. Makes it worth my time and also weeds out the not serious folks and people who don’t value your time.
Now if it’s just a simple “you need 6 pars across the front” I may not charge, but I have found we waste a LOT less time and close a lot more sales since we took the posture that our time is valuable and our price is professional. If you want the fly by night guy go for it, they’ll call me in 5 years when nothing works right and they are fed up anyway.

Okay, so I tried your suggestion. I definitely need to learn how to better impose it. I've spent probably 20hrs all combined on a $200 check. My fault too, not theirs.

Church asked for me to look at the (broken) sound system, soundboard (also kinda broken), etc. Sure no prob. Came in chatted for an hour or two. No prob sent some basic numbers, quick mockup in Direct, etc. I did some diagnostics on their speaker that was giving them troubles. Charged for that, happy there.

They wanted to move forward with quotes for a new sound system. Okay design fee, I'll do a basic design and then bid on my own design. And you can use it for an RFP.

20hrs, multiple EASE plots, Direct, Display, etc. later and I'm still writing the generic sound design document that will look fantastic and get me the gig I'm sure. Not mad, just trying to get better...

Anyways,
What does "real basic design" look like to you?
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Integrators selling your product?
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2018, 06:22:43 pm »

But, but "why do you want to make a profit??!?"

Lemme just tell you that for SOME REASON my mortgage company wants, ya know, REAL MONEY every month. They're not happy with "Oh, well, I cut this group a great deal." They want fives and tens of dollars. Speaking of which, I should probably mail that check now. Ack!

And what exactly does the word 'profit' mean?

To a business, there really is no such thing as profit. Every penny that comes in goes to 1) raw materials, 2) overhead, 3) labor, 4) business development, or 5) charitable causes. Some businesses might bank some cash reserves, but even that eventually goes to business development if nothing else.

The money that goes out in labor not only includes the employees, but what the owner takes home. And whatever the owner takes home is the value of the owner's time.

To an individual, there is no such thing as profit. Every penny goes to supporting lifestyle, personal development, is invested for future lifestyle and personal development, is passed on to another generation, or goes to charitable causes.

Oh, I suppose if you put a bunch of cash under your mattress with the intention that neither yourself nor anyone else will ever be able to use it, you could call that profit.

Profit? That's not the money that I charge above my costs, that's the money that you charge above your costs.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Integrators selling your product?
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2018, 11:29:22 pm »

And what exactly does the word 'profit' mean?

To a business, there really is no such thing as profit. Every penny that comes in goes to 1) raw materials, 2) overhead, 3) labor, 4) business development, or 5) charitable causes. Some businesses might bank some cash reserves, but even that eventually goes to business development if nothing else.

The money that goes out in labor not only includes the employees, but what the owner takes home. And whatever the owner takes home is the value of the owner's time.

To an individual, there is no such thing as profit. Every penny goes to supporting lifestyle, personal development, is invested for future lifestyle and personal development, is passed on to another generation, or goes to charitable causes.

Oh, I suppose if you put a bunch of cash under your mattress with the intention that neither yourself nor anyone else will ever be able to use it, you could call that profit.

Profit? That's not the money that I charge above my costs, that's the money that you charge above your costs.

That's not true, profit is distributed or retained based on corporate structure.  In fact if you can't show a profit after a period of time the IRS considers you a hobby.

A profit and loss statement is a key financial report.
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
River Delta Audio is now:

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Integrators selling your product?
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2018, 01:05:21 pm »



Anyways,
What does "real basic design" look like to you?

A question I wrestle with in my day job from the other side now.  I spent several years as an electrical contractor bidding jobs (though a relatively few were competitive bids)-but now I am requesting bids and once over a certain threshold the owners want 3 bids so I am constantly tring to do this and often for projects that are too small to justify hiring an archetect or engineer.

Usually, I am doing equipment based bids-"I want this specific item installed in this location".  Performance based is going to be a lot harder-and, face it, it is likely that no one on the deciding committee will understand what an EASE plot tells them-your competitor could draw something in Paint and they'll not be the wiser. 

I guess I would lean towards a one line drawing of the system showing the basic interconnections of the gear to be installed, specifying major equipment by make/model. Probably specifying speaker location-especially if that significantly affects cost. Also, any special code considerations taken into account.  Really only leaves basic things and labor and markup for competition-but barring knowledgable people on the deciding committee, there is no other way to get a truly competitive bid.
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Steve Swaffer

David Allred

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Re: Integrators selling your product?
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2018, 02:24:34 pm »

1 - Charge a consultation / design fee that is deducted from the total if they hire you.
2 - If they ask your margin, tell them to ask the online retail what their margin is.
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